Friday, May 30, 2008
Justice League of America #255 (10/86)
Adam: "More than Adam. I was powerful before the blood of the Homo Magi coursed through me. I am more powerful now... I am not a god. I am The God... somehow, I've transcended both Homo Sapien and Homo Magi!" Used power to trace Zatanna's emergency distress signal and spy through sorcery on...
Sue Dibney: ...who tended to...
Steel: Bedridden with arm and leg in casts. Seethed with frustration and concern as he watched...
Vibe: Entered teleport tube in (comparatively) plain clothes, along with...
Elongated Man: ...who also never bothered to change into costume, as well as...
Vixen: ...who raced to the tubes partnered with Batman, both only partially costumed. What they were doing together to be in such a state is up for debate, though readers should be reminded they were previously interrupted during a romantic date by Despero.
Zatanna: Still bound in a hospital, a surly nurse guarding her. Was either psychically visited by the spirit of her magician father Zatara, or imagined a conversation with him to focus her abilities. "Years of practice and training. Years of mistakes and strained patience. That's all it takes to create an earthquake so precisely centered... that it only rocks one building. The nurse stabbed herself with a hypodermic needle filled with heavy sedative intended for Zee. Heroine burst bonds and reconstituted her costume before running into treacherous sub-letter Sheri Stanley in the hall. Recaptured by the insane Adam, but not before alerting the League electronically. Crestfallen when...
Batman: Arrived with three other Leaguers to hospital where Zee was being held. Greeted by Adam disguised as Zee, who used powers of seduction on Vibe and mystical manipulation on the rest to send them on their way, assuming a false alarm. The Dark Knight Detective actually waved bye-bye, a testament to Adam's extraordinary new power. Still no explanation as to whether Bruce Wayne got his swerve on, but his departing the team without explanation after this issue indicates that he did.
Gypsy: Spied on by Adam. Used illusion casting against a heavy-handed pimp near an adult theater. Located a girl attempting to turn a trick. Gypsy gave chase when she bolted. "She's not getting away from me. No way. In his civilian I.D. as a private eye, J'Onn J'Onzz was hired to find Pamela Cross... and ended up getting framed for murder. I want to know why." Corned an angry Pamela, recognizing, "I know that look. Tough as nails on the outside... Scared half to death on the inside." Treated Pamela to a diner meal and her secret origin. Despite Cross observing of Gypsy, "By the way-- that's an ugly dress," Pamela was in tears by the end of her tale. "I should feel guilty about putting her through an emotional wringer... but I don't. After all, I am gonna help her... and in return, she's gonna help John... Jones? Shoot! There goes the emergency signal again. What do I do now?" She chose to ignored the signal and stay with Pamela.
Martian Manhunter: "Why do I even bother? The man I appear to be, detective John Jones, is a pale-skinned lie. I am a Martian. I have the power to assume any shape I so please. Why, then, my attachment to this form? Ah, but it's not the form, is it? It's the mystery." Jones had staked out Burt Biloxi's agency, for despite clearing the proprietor through a telepathic probe, still detected wrongdoing. Norma Simons, Biloxi's secretary, had misdirected Jones to the murder scene of her lover's wife, turning Jones into a patsy to provide an alibi for the adulterer. "The signal. I am sorry my friends... but there are times when personal concerns outweigh the League's." So much for that "heart and soul of the League" business. Jones burst in on Simons and the murderous widower, learning that while Norma had provided the murder weapon and scapegoat, it was all at her lover's urging. Jones was shot repeatedly in the chest by a high caliber handgun, and caught unawares, staggered back into the fireplace. Jack Miller would have been proud. "A woman was cold-bloodedly murdered... my own life is almost certainly ending... all... so that two humans... could indulge their biological urges. Humans! I will never... understand them." Adam spied on the now white-haired Jones, his view panning into the signal light still flashing on John's wristwatch...
The Creators: All the usual suspects; Conway, Ellis, McDonnell, Wray, Helfer... waitaminute. Who the heck is scripter Michael Ellis? Per the comments of Assistant Editor Greg Weisman in #259's letter column, "As for Mr. Ellis, well, he'll just have to remain a mystery for a while longer. Many of our readers seem to like his work. We'd like to thank him for helping out on our scheduling bind." Anyone else smell a pseudonym? Both Helfer and Weisman went on to writing credits of their own, while longtime writer Conway just plain went on, without comment. Perhaps Hollywood animation beckoned ("Super Powers," "G.I. Joe," "Transformers," "Centurions,") but I suspect the immediate dismantling of Justice League Detroit was a big clue that the separation was not amicable. I'd also like to note the interplay between Zatanna and Zatara by "Ellis" was really poorly handled-- a series of rapid-fire quotations sharing the same caption boxes that made reading confusing.
J’Onn J’Onzz’s Nicknames of the Issue: "John Jones" -Gypsy
Most Embarrassing Vibe Quote of the Issue: "Say what? You get us all runnin' out here like a buncha headless chickens-- for a false alarm?!"
Posted by Diabolu Frank at 12:46 PM
Labels: Adam, Batman, Elongated Man, Gerry Conway, Gypsy, Luke McDonnell, Martian Manhunter, New York, Steel II, Sue Dibny, The Vixen, Vibe, Zatanna
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Who the heck is scripter Michael Ellis?
I found myself wondering this same thing a couple of nights ago, which led me here (among other places). I wound up discovering that J.M. DeMatteis had used the name for Captain America #300 and posted to the GCD mailing list. Fellow member Allen Ross asked Mr. DeMatteis on his blog about the JLA issue and he confirmed it was him, with an explanation.
Since I stumbled across this blog during my search, I thought I'd pass the info along. Another minor mystery solved!
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